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Detroit Lions—already short at safety—lose Miles Killebrew to concussion

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The safety position has been hit hard in the past few weeks.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It hasn’t been a great month for Detroit Lions safeties. A few weeks ago, the Lions sent defensive captain Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks in a surprising trade. The following week starting safety Tracy Walker suffered a knee injury he still hasn’t returned from. And this week, the unit took another hit during this week of practice.

Safety reserve and special teams contributor Miles Killebrew suffered a concussion during Thursday’s practice after taking a hit, according to Lions head coach Matt Patricia.

“Miles got hit yesterday,” Patricia said during Friday’s press conference. “I didn’t really like how it looked, so I just kind of pulled him out of practice. Our doctors had a chance to look at him last night and this morning and he is in concussion protocol now.”

That leaves the Lions desperately thin at the safety position with just three healthy players remaining on the roster: Tavon Wilson and rookies Will Harris and C.J. Moore. They currently don’t have a defensive back on their practice squad, either.

The Lions do have other options at safety, however. For example, they crossed trained cornerback Mike Ford at safety during training camp, and Patricia said that’s a preventative measure for instances like this.

“That’s why it’s so important for us to work guys in different positions throughout the course of training camp,” Patricia said.

With only a day left to clear concussion protocol, it’s virtually impossible for Killebrew to be ready for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. And with Walker still out of practice since his Week 8 knee injury, it looks like the Lions will have to make some adjustments to their lineup on Sunday.

In addition to Killebrew, Tracy Walker, Da’Shawn Hand and Romeo Okwara will miss Friday’s practice, according to Patricia. Punter Sam Martin will return.